Hawaiian Island of Lanai is For Sale
The smallest island in the Hawaiian Island chains is Lanai, with a population of 3200. The island is only 141 square miles. Most Americans have no clue that the island is privately owned by David Murdock's Castle & Cooke company. They own 98% of it. Castle & Cooke owns the island's luxury resorts, golf courses, the water utility and other businesses. The reason for the sale is that the company is losing $40 million a year and the asking price is between $500- 600 million.
The 3200 who live on the island are concerned but happy their feudal landlord is selling. They viewed him as someone from a different age, yet, Lanai, besides beauty, cannot and has not been a hotspot for tourists. The islands of Hawaii offer much competition in Oahu, Maui and the big island. Lanai has limited air service to it enough to make tourists look elsewhere. The island has several interested parties. Whoever buys it must carry on the tourist infrastructure Murdoch built because of unions. Locals ponder what their future may be like because they know Lanai needs more than the tourist industry for income.
The island has 30 miles of paved roads, 400 miles of unpaved roads and no stoplights. Only 26,000 people visited the island last year. The island was known as the "pineapple" island for its vast pineapple plantations, which Murdoch closed years ago.
David Murdoch is 89 yrs. old and has been the owner since 1985. He lives on a 13,000 acre spread complete with windmills. He is worth over two billion dollars.